• Boredom Is a Choice

    Every once in a while, I’ll receive an email from a reader or see a comment somewhere in which the reader complains that they’re “bored” during their financial recovery. I’m honestly mystified by this. I can’t recall being bored since my pre-teen years. I have more things that I want to do than I have …

  • Get on the Same Page Financially (273/365)

    Get on the Same Page Financially (273/365) Yesterday, we discussed how valuable it is to start off with financial equality in your relationship. There should be one pool of money and an understanding that debts affect both partners in the relationship. Without the trust that is required for this, a relationship will have a hard …

  • Build a Financially Equal Relationship from the Start (272/365)

    When people get married or become fully committed enough to combine their finances, they often take the right step by merging their financial situations together. What they miss out on, though, is establishing true financial equality within the relationship. There is still a sense of “mine” and “yours.” You have “your” debts, I have “my” …

  • Ten Pieces of Inspiration #93

    Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. Consider this an autumn edition. I spent much of the week collecting pictures of fall colors for a display project. Many of them were absolutely beautiful, so I decided to …

  • Find Areas of Mutual Interest That Don’t Involve Spending Money (271/365)

    In the evenings, you’ll often find Sarah and I at the kitchen table playing a board game or a card game. The games we play are usually ones we’ve received as gifts in the past, and they require no additional expense to play – not even a drop of electricity. Sometimes, you’ll find us reading …

  • Internal Success

    One of my closest friends is in his early thirties. He lives in an old fixer-upper. He drives an old car and he dresses extremely modestly most of the time. He’s quiet and reserved. If you saw him at the grocery store, you wouldn’t give him a second thought. Yet he’s got six going on …

  • Be Attentive (270/365)

    A romantic relationship, whether before or after marriage, needs care to keep it healthy. Just like any living thing, you’ve got to give it the attention that it needs to keep both members happy. It’s harder than it sounds. Most of us have very busy lives. I know we’re holding down two careers, three children, …

  • Reader Mailbag: Caterpillars

    What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Why not get an ARM? 2. Value of old information 3. Paperless statements 4. Used camping equipment 5. Sarah’s contributions 6. Odors 7. Tankless water heaters …

  • Write Love Notes (269/365)

    One of the most effective ways to cement our relationship and keep it strong is something incredibly simple that costs almost nothing and is something people have been doing for hundreds of years. I just write a little note for Sarah and stick it somewhere where she will find it later. Usually, it’s not a …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Child Art Edition

    The walls of my office are slowly becoming covered in child art. First, I hung up a rather nice comic strip that my six year old son drew. Then, my daughter drew an enormous rainbow heart with the word “Dad” on it and asked me to hang it up. This opened up the floodgates. Now …

  • Take Walks Together (268/365)

    All through dating and marriage, Sarah and I have taken pretty regular walks together. We’ll just stroll through the neighborhood we’re living in, looking for interesting things to observe and just talking about life. Even now, we still do this, though our walks often involve three children tagging along with us. These walks are a …

  • Ten Steps to Mindfulness

    A few weeks ago, I received a wonderful, long, and very personal email from a reader. This reader told many stories about their life and made the astute observation that frugality and personal finance success are simply aspects of being more mindful in one’s everyday life. The reader’s question, in the end, had to do …

  • Plan a Romantic Free Date (267/365)

    While we were dating – and after we were married, too – Sarah and I enjoyed a wide variety of dates. We went to expensive restaurants. We went away for the weekend. We went to amusement parks (Sarah loves them). However, many of our most memorable dates have been free – or very close to …

  • Reader Mailbag: Morning Coffee

    What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Vehicle or credit cards? 2. Handling snobby and rich sister 3. Why not a 30 year? 4. Boredom of being a caretaker 5. To move or …

  • Give Gifts of Sincerity (266/365)

    Sarah and I have been a committed couple for roughly fifteen years, including our courtship and marriage. During that time, we’ve had the opportunity to give each other many gifts due to anniversaries and birthdays and Christmases and just special occasions. When I look back on those gifts, the ones I remember the most clearly …

  • Fear, Frugality, and Parenting

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin A few weeks ago, there was a kidnapping scare in our area. A student was walking home from school when a person in a car pulled up next to her and asked her if …

  • Don’t Spend to Impress (265/365)

    After much recent talk about insurance, we’re going to shift gears a little bit in our “365″ series and talk about relationships. We all need human relationships in our lives, whether they’re close friendships, romantic relationships, or professional associations. Relationships are a big part of the spice of life. Unfortunately, relationships can also be expensive, …

  • Ten Pieces of Inspiration #92

    Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. Ernest Hemingway on life breaking you We all face rejection and disappointment at some point in our lives. What makes us powerful is how we heal from those things. …

  • Use the Payment Option That Lets You Pay the Smallest Annual Amount (264/365)

    Insurance companies know that different people are in different financial situations and have different financial desires. Some people have a difficult time swinging a large annual amount, but can manage a monthly payment just fine. Other people, who have nice sums in the bank, can easily handle a larger payment (which is more convenient for …